Below is the last part of my interview with my friend Geoff Neupert, Master RKC.
In today’s final instalment, Geoff talks about his Top 5 KB Exercises, why 2 KBs isn’t always better than 1 and how you can build slabs of rock hard muscle by just manipulating the variables in the OVerload Principle.
Finally, Geoff just released a new free report outlining his TOP 5 KETTLEBELL MISTAKES and how to avoid them….
I strongly suggest you pick this report up. It’s 31 pages of absolute essential reading for any KB practitioner or anybody who has wanted to get into kettlebell training….
And now, onto the conclusion of my interview with Geoff Neupert….
Chris: OK Geoff, just quickly here, top five kettlebell exercises?
Geoff: That’s easy. Swing, get up, double clean press, double clean jerk, and snatch, and the sixth is double front squat in case you’re wondering.
Chris: Double kettlebell work, is that something you recommend for people just starting out or do you think that they should be able to master certain movements and exercises with one kettlebell prior to using two?
Geoff: Fantastic question. I recommend people learn how to use one kettlebell. You want to know why?
Two might be better because it’s twice as many as one, right?
Chris: Yeah, that’s a general philosophy in the population right now, more is better.
Geoff: Right, more is better. So, here’s the thing. The dirty little secret about kettlebells that nobody wants to talk about, they’re like, “What’s the big deal? It’s just weight, it’s a cannonball with a handle.”
Well, that little cannonball with a handle, because of the way that it is offset and the weight sits on the back of your wrist instead of to either side of your wrist like a dumbbell means it amplifies anything that you do because it recruits more muscles, because it really aligns joint on joint and therefore your muscles fire more synchronously.
But, it also magnifies any sort of movement dysfunctions or restrictions that you have, so it’s like a scalpel. It is literally the scalpel of the exercise equipment world. A scalpel in the right hands can do amazing things. In the hands of a surgeon it can bypass a heart, it can change the shape of a nose, it can do many things, but in the hands of a criminal it destroys.
So, the kettlebell is very much like that on the human body. It’s beautiful for giving you feedback, which may not be what you want, about how your body moves through space. Then it’s up to you whether or not you’re going to address those issues. If you choose not to address those movement issues, do so at your own risk. My life is a perfect example of doing that. You may not be as tenacious or as fortunate as I was, which means you may not ever make a full recovery.
Starting with one kettlebell allows you to pay attention to what’s going on in your body and manage those movement dysfunctions. On the flip side it tells you when you’ve overcome those movement dysfunctions too.
Then you can load up with a double kettlebell. The beautiful thing about the double kettlebell is now you can really accelerate your progress. The double kettlebell drills also tell you how good of a job you did with the single kettlebell work, whether or not you really paid attention and whether or not you’re really ready to do it.
So, I always start and we always teach people to start with one and then once you’ve got one down then move to two. You’ve never really got one down, which means you end going up back and forth between one and two.
For example, you can really only do a Turkish get up with one kettlebell in one hand. Yes, you can do a double kettlebell get up, but that’s more like a circus stunt and very few people can do that.
But, a kettlebell that’s 25 percent of your bodyweight that you’re using for a get up feels much different than a kettlebell that’s 50 percent of your bodyweight, so that’s why I say you’ve never really mastered one because the weights feel totally different and they give you a different type of feedback.
So, start with one. Once you get the one down go to two. Then don’t be afraid to go back to one. There’s plenty to learn. The more you move the higher quality movement you have the more you’ll be able to move the better your quality will be and the longer your life will be, unless you get hit by a car or something morbid like that.
Chris: That’s a great point. If you notice what Geoff was saying there, it all comes back down to movement. The kettlebell gives you the feedback to determine whether or not you’re moving efficiently or not.
That’s what we were talking about earlier in the call, how essential movement is before you really delve into your program more in depth and really trying to kill yourself with the quantity as opposed to emphasizing the quality of the movement. So, we’re always coming back to movement here.
That analogy using the kettlebell as a scalpel, that’s genius. That’s a really great analogy, I like that a lot.
All right, next question. Here we go. If you only had 20 minutes to train what would you do?
Geoff: Oh, that’s a good one, it’s a tough one though because I’m such a program design junkie. I would use four exercises and I would use an A-B split. So, I would set up two exercises on one day and that would be my A training session. Then I would set up two exercises on my B day and that would be my B training session.
For my A day I would do get ups and swings, probably in that order. Then on my B day I would do double clean and jerks.
Chris: Only double clean and jerks?
Geoff: Yes. I’d take a pair of 32, because that’s probably medium, 32 kilo kettlebells and do clean and jerks for 20 minutes however I wanted to set it up.
I would choose those exercises because the get ups and the swings we talked about movement for the last 20 minutes or so and it would take great movement, and they teach you how to do under load. So, whenever you load great movement or bad movement it makes that movement stick longer as a bigger imprint on your nervous system.
So, I’d use the get ups and swings to make sure my movement was great and the next day I would go with double clean and jerks because they’re just great for so many things. You can generate power with them, you pack on muscle, you peel off fat, you challenge the cardiovascular system, pick something, it’s just really a fantastic exercise. So, that’s what I would do.
Chris: There you go, A-B split, swings and get ups on day one and then double clean and jerks on day two.
Can’t get more simple than that. All right, last question here. We’ll talk about this more extensively in another interview because I really want to talk about building muscle using kettlebells and I know you just came out with a new book, so I want to get you on another interview and we’re going to talk about that extensively, because I’ve got a lot of readers who are interested in doing that and really building muscle I guess at home, and probably the best way to do that is to get some kettlebells and train at home. You can get it done quick and they’re incredibly portable.
You and I were joking about this the other day about a kettlebell is just a conditioning tool, it’s used for martial artists so that they can make weight and it’s used for cardio, I hate that word but I’ve heard people say that, “It’s just a cardio tool. It’s another cardio tool. So, let’s briefly if you can, and I know it’s a big question, but let’s try to briefly sum it up and use it as a means to get into the next interview later on.
What do you say to people that say that kettlebells are just a conditioning tool and you can’t use them to put on muscle?
Geoff: Well, usually those types of people I don’t argue with, I just let them think that and they can do their own thing. But, for those who are interested, here’s the deal and here’s what you’ve got to remember.
A kettlebell is a tool just like a barbell or a dumbbell or a sandbag. You can get stronger, bigger, or better conditioning with any tool. The key thing is you just have to know how to set up the program to accomplish your goals. Does that make sense?
You’ve got to become familiar with program design.
The foundation of any program is and always forever more will be and always has been the overload principle and learning how to use that properly.
Now, the reason most people don’t think kettlebells are a good tool for building strength and muscle is because traditionally kettlebells don’t come in a range of sizes. So, the traditional mechanism for overload is adding weight to the bar, so if I want to get more muscular I add weight to the bar.
Well, what about increasing the total workload done with a given weight? That also increases strength and if you eat enough food that also increases muscle. Well, what if you increased total workload and decreased the amount of time you do it in? Also increases strength, also increases muscle.
What if you change your leverage? Also increases strength, also increases muscle. So, there are so many different ways to overload the body and use the overload principle effectively and properly. But, that’s the key point.
So, people who say it’s just a conditioning tool, I’m not going to argue with them, but if they listen to this interview they’ll find out they don’t understand how to use the overload principle properly. If you know how to do that you can pack on as much muscle and get as strong as you want and actually using relatively light weights, believe it or not.
Chris: That’s great, that’s a perfect answer. That’s a great way to end the call and get us ready and set for the next interview when we’ll talk about using muscle using kettlebells. Geoff, I can’t thank you enough for your time, I know you’re a really busy guy.
I learned a lot on the call, I know everybody else that is going to be listening to this call is going to get a whole heck of a lot out of it. I can’t thank you enough for getting on the phone with me and talking with me about this kind of stuff.
Geoff: Well, Chris, I appreciate your time too. I know you’re busy with five kids and your own business, your time is at a premium too. It was great to be on this call and be able to share some of my ideas with your listeners and I appreciate you setting up the time to be able to do this so everybody could benefit, I really appreciate it. Thank you.
Chris: Signing off this is Chris Lopez with Master RKC Geoff Neupert on our call about fat loss, movement, and all thinks kettlebell. Thanks very much guys.
If you want to learn more about Geoff and where to pick up his programs or read about what he does; Geoff, where can everybody find you at?
Geoff: Well, if you want to get my fat loss program you can go to KettlebellBurn.com. If you want to just get more ideas about how to use kettlebells and some of the nuances and details behind using them you can go to my website KettlebellSecrets.com. Those are the two best places for your listeners to go.
Chris: That’s great. You know what? I’ve got to mention this as well. I really love reading your blog, so you can give them your blog address as well? I get a lot out of just reading about what’s going on in your everyday life with your clients and your new findings, and just little observances that you have going on whenever you post stuff. So, what’s your blog address?
Geoff: Sure. My blog isChasingStrength.com.
Chris: All right. Thanks so much. Again, Geoff Neupert on the line, Master RKC. Have a great day everyone. This is Chris Lopez from KettlebellWorkouts.com. Take care.
I’d like to thank Geoff for an amazing interview. I’m looking forward to our next interview where we’ll talk about how to pack on muscle using kettlebells.
For now, don’t forget to download Geoff’s New FR*EE Report HERE….
I’m off to Orlando on Thursday for the RKC, so I’ll be sure to update you on Wednesday to let you know how my final phase of training went and what I scored on my final Snatch Test dry run!